ABOUT US

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Dr. Mary Ann East, Artistic Director

Mary Ann East (DMA, Boston University; MM, George Mason University; BME, Indiana University) has taught music to ages 3-93.  A former Fairfax County music teacher, and adjunct faculty at GMU for 15 years, she is currently music director at Community of Faith UMC in Herndon, VA, owner of Monarch Music Studio for private vocal and piano instruction, co-founder and artistic director of Capital Harmonia, and the Program Director for Sentimental Journey Singers, a chorus for singer with dementia and their care partners,  for Encore Creativity for Older Adults.

Mary Ann believes that music can be a vehicle for empowerment, allowing musicians to discover and express their true selves gaining confidence and a sense of accomplishment.  Music is also a powerful catalyst for change in our society, providing a platform for ALL voices to be heard.

Rev. Elizabeth LaBella-Foster, Board President

Beth LaBella-Foster has spent a lifetime dedicated to helping others.  She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology with a focus on systems of injustice and their societal impact from the University of Texas at Dallas.  After spending two decades cultivating a successful career in corporate America, Beth earned a Masters of Divinity degree from Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas (2010) where she was awarded both of the two prizes given for excellence in preaching.  She became an Ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church in 2012, serving several large churches in the North Texas Conference prior to moving to the Virginia Annual Conference.  

 

Beth has 35 years of experience in developing curriculum and programming at the local church level, and is the founder of Our Common Life - an alternative ministry aimed at people outside of the church who seek to develop a better understanding of, and connection with, their spiritual life.  Having served in various capacities for numerous nonprofit organizations, she is passionate about helping people to discover and grow their sense of inherent self-worth.

 

Beth and her husband, Greg Foster, have three grown children, one but soon-to-be-two grandchildren, one incredibly spoiled dog, and enjoy spending time exploring the wonders that come with living in Northern Virginia.

Rev. Dr. Michelle Holmes Chaney, Board Treasurer

A native of New York City, Dr. Chaney received her Bachelor of Arts from Virginia Tech, a Masters of Divinity from Candler School of Theology, Emory University and a Doctorate of Ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary in the area of Faith and the Health of Communities.

 

She was ordained an elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 2000, became an elder in full connection in the United Methodist Church in 2013 and has 15 years of human resource experience in addition to 22 years in ministry. Dr. Chaney is a trained coach and consultant in church revitalization, starting new ministries and leadership development. She has worked with annual conferences and non-profit boards across the country. Currently, she is the Bi-District Coordinator for Church Revitalization and Leadership Development for the United Methodist Church in Northern Virginia. As coordinator she supports the 100+ churches and over 150+ pastors in the Alexandria and Arlington Districts as they seek to be relevant and vital through congregational revitalization, leadership development and community engagement.

 

She is married to Rev. William T. Chaney, Jr., who is the pastor at Chesterbrook UMC in McLean, VA and a certified coach and consultant. Together they have one daughter, Courtney Elizabeth, who is a student at Pace University in New York City.